Dig into today’s story.
Petunia and the Coelacanth
[Slice of Life] • 2,705 words
Sometimes young Petunia Paleo’s dreams seem impossible.
Good thing dreams are Princess Luna’s specialty.
FROM THE CURATORS: Oddly enough, our first exposure to this sweet, feel-good story was a kerfluffle in our discussion thread. “Ding dang it, PP! I was just finishing up my own recommendation e-mail for this one,” AugieDog said immediately after Present Perfect’s nomination landed. Present shot back, “Obviously, this was a good idea, then,” before Soge quickly greenlighted it: “A good idea it was indeed. This is simply a slam dunk of a story, charming and unpretentious, yet chock full of narrative depths.” Still, the choice of story got some good-natured pushback: “Honestly,” FanOfMostEverything said, “my only regret is that Coffee’s going to get featured for this and not To Serve In Hell.”
There were reasons we found this so eye-catching, though. “Written very much in the style of a children’s story — it practically begins with the words ‘Once upon a time’ — this is just plain charming from top to bottom,” AugieDog said. “And while Petunia’s pint-sized pluck and determination are of course the center of the story, it’s the characterization of her parents that really got to me.” Both those factors were cited repeatedly as exemplary. “Despite being written in that ‘bedtime story’ style, it never seems to forget the presence of older readers, managing to make its style work in favor of establishing both atmosphere and character,” Soge said. “And speaking of character, the characterization work here is amazing. All of the involved pop from the page. And it does all that in its sub-3k word count without ever feeling dense.”
Along the way, we found plenty to surprise and delight us. “The story is filled with clever bits like the logical consequences of publishing a journal that contains Rainbow Dash’s thoughts on meeting the real live Daring Do,” FanOfMostEverything noted. And several of us loved, as RBDash47 put it, “the concept that Luna is concerned with aspirational dreams as well as nighttime ones. This was a very logical continuation from several elements in the show, and a very satisfying one at that.” But in the end, it was Present Perfect’s nomination e-mail which summed our enjoyment up best: “This is a fast-paced story that stuffs a whole ton of childish hopes and dreams into itself, before letting them burst forth in a display of pure positivity.”
Read on for our author interview, in which CoffeeMinion discusses guarded faith, self-compression, and yesterday’s sacrifices.